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Alison Lee: SCV standout picks UCLA

Valencia High School’s Alison Lee gives verbal commitment

Posted: July 17, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 17, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Valencia High School’s Alison Lee plans to begin playing for the defending national champion UCLA women’s golf team.

 

She’s already competed in two U.S. Women’s Open tournaments. She’s No. 8 in the American Junior Golf Association Polo rankings and has five top 5 finishes in AJGA tournaments this year.

One more thing to add.

Alison Lee, a 16-year-old Valencia High student, has verbally committed to play for UCLA starting in 2013.

UCLA, the defending women’s golf national champions, expressed interest in Lee as early as last spring, when she made her official campus visit.

Given her existing relationship with some of the current UCLA players, Lee made the commitment in mid-May.

“It’s really great,” she said. “It gives me confidence going into school because eventually, the ultimate goal for me is to become a professional golfer and just knowing the program there is going to work with all the golfers and help them get better is great.”

Once she visited the campus and saw the golf facilities, Lee said it wasn’t much of a decision. The only other school she considered was USC.

Not only does she like the idea of staying close to her family, but she would rather push herself to compete for position on a prestigious program like UCLA, which has won two NCAA Division I titles in the past seven years.

“It keeps my game up. I know how I’ll need to be playing,” Lee said. “It’s better to be the second best player on the team than the best player on the team (at a smaller school), so you have something to work for.”

In the meantime, she plans to keep her game sharp by continuing to compete in AJGA and amateur tournaments across the country as she has since age 12.

This week, she’s in Olympia Fields, Ill. preparing for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, which begins Monday.

She’s also played on Valencia’s golf team the past two years, but will forego high school golf in her upcoming junior year to focus on school work.

“I do have tournaments throughout the entire year,” Lee said. “I have to miss school for my golf tournaments, but on top of that, I have to miss school for my high school tournaments, so it’s really hard to balance that all out.”

Last year, she took two honors classes and maintained a 4.0 GPA. That’s not good enough by Lee’s standards.

This summer, she’s played two golf tournaments —  the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the Rolex Tournament of Champions — where she finished tied for second and fourth, respectively.

That’s not good enough for her either.

“Every tournament I’ve been playing in, I was there with a chance to win and I just made a couple silly mistakes that cost me,” Lee said.

The good news is she still has two years of eligibility on the AJGA tour.

She’ll surely use every bit of that to work on her game.

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